A Message from the Chairman of the Geraldine Pascall Foundation:

“For the past 29 years it has been my privilege to oversee the administration of the Pascall Prize. As the only award of its kind in Australia, the Pascall has recognised some of Australia’s finest, and least celebrated, writers. The Pascall Prize was run from its inception by Music & Opera Singers Trust (MOST®). As MOST® has expanded its classical and opera music operations by taking over the renowned ABC Young Performers Awards, it has handed over the Pascall to the Walkley Foundation, a more relevant home for it. I look forward to seeing the Prize evolve and thrive under their supervision.

Finally, on behalf of the Directors of the Geraldine Pascall Foundation, I thank you for your support over the past three decades.”

Roland E. Gridiger

A New Home for the Pascall Prize

The prestigious Pascall Prize has joined the Walkley Foundation’s Mid-Year Awards program, and will now include a category for arts journalism as well as criticism.

The Pascall Prize for arts criticism has been Australia’s only major award for critical writing about the arts since its inaugural award to David Malouf in 1988. The continuing aim of the prize will be to reward engaging and exciting voices, both new and established, whose work reveals critical thinking without preconceptions, that is sceptical of received wisdom and shows loyalty only to balanced, rational argument about the subject at hand.

The Pascall commemorates the flamboyant journalist and critic Geraldine Pascall, who worked for The Australian from 1970 until her sudden death from a stroke in 1983.

Past Pascall Winners

The Pascall’s 26 past winners include Roger Covell, Andrew Ford, Bruce Elder and Robert Forster (music), Sandra Hall, Julie Rigg, Andrew Martin, Noel Purdon, Paul Byrnes and Evan Williams (film), Robert Nelson and Joanna Mendelssohn (art), Alison Croggon and John McCallum (theatre), Elizabeth Farrelly (built environment), Mark Mordue, James Bradley, Gerard Windsor, Geordie Williamson, Kerryn Goldsworthy, James Ley, Marion Halligan, Andrew Riemer and Peter Craven (books and literature) and the late Alan Saunders (gastronomy).

David Malouf won the inaugural Pascall Prize in 1988.

Walkley Awards for Arts Journalism

Winners for the two arts awards will be rewarded in the Walkleys’ Mid-Year Awards on July 26, 2017:

All Media: Arts Journalism

This new award recognises a significant contribution in reporting, writing, news breaking and analysis of arts issues. This may include profiles of artists, features and investigations, reporting on the structures and personalities involved in the creation of contemporary culture, and examination of the creative arena. Judges will consider research, news-gathering skill, storytelling ability and engaging, illuminating voices. Entries in this category must be a single piece of work in any medium. Open to individuals or group entries up to three people.

All Media: Walkley-Pascall Award for Arts Criticism

The Arts Criticism award, previously the Pascall Prize, celebrates the unique contribution of critics to our cultural landscape, and the specialist, detailed knowledge they draw on to contextualise works of art. Criticism includes both reviews responding to the work itself, and deeper criticism placing work in the context of the artist’s oeuvre, specific genres and/or the current social/political/cultural landscape. Judges will consider critical thinking, balanced, rigorous argument and evaluation, depth of knowledge and ability to contextualise, and engaging, illuminating voices. Entries in this category must be a single piece of work in any medium. Open only to individual entrants.


Any person currently and regularly engaged in the practice of critical writing or broadcasting about any branch of the arts is eligible to apply for the Pascall Award. Work entered may relate to any aspect of the creative or performing arts. The word ‘arts’ is to be interpreted broadly so as to include, for example, journalism and criticism covering radio and television, photography, architecture, film, food and wine as well as literature, visual arts and performing arts. Entrants self-nominate and work must have been published or aired between Jan. 1, 2016 and June 15, 2017.

For more information, contact Lauren Dixon with questions: lauren.dixon@walkleys.com or (02) 9333 0913.

Entries open from Monday May 22, through midnight, June 15, 2017

Click here to enter

Judging Criteria

Terms & Conditions